Expected goals (xG), in layman terms it is a better stat than ‘shots’ for example, as it takes into account many different variables to quantify how good a chance was. So a one-on-one has a higher expected goals xG than a 30-yard pot-shot for example.
So it actually provides a better insight into the quality of chances a team creates, and in terms of Valencia, as an example, their xG total shows that they have the capabilities to carve out good scoring opportunities against the very best teams.
So here goes …
Valencia still have a chance of finishing in the top four in La Liga and have a semi-final date with Arsenal in the Europa League. So they’ve plenty to play for. They were unfortunate to lose 3-2 against Atletico Madrid in mid-week, as according to Expected goals (xG) – a number that quantifies the quality of any given scoring opportunity – Valencia were the better team.
With exciting attacking players at their disposal, the likes of Gonçalo Guedes, Rodrigo, Carlos Soler and Santi Mina, it is no surprise that they are rated as the fifth-best attacking team in the league according to expected goals.
Interestingly, one of the teams above Valencia on that specific stat is Eibar, who rank as the fourth-best attacking team in La Liga this season. Eibar are one of the more unfortunate teams this season according to expected goals, having been the fifth- best team despite sitting in 13th in La Liga, so shouldn’t be underestimated here.
This should be an entertaining early kick-off in Spain and backing both teams to score is the play.
Verdict: Both teams to score @ 8/11
Leicester are chasing a seventh-placed finish to qualify for Europe but have gone off the boil in recent weeks with Brendan Rodgers’ side really struggling to break down teams that sit in and defend. A prime example was the Newcastle game.
This encounter should suit them more, especially given their counter-attacking capabilities – and Arsenal’s woeful defence.
Unai Emery’s side have lost games at a crucial time and in their chase for a top-four spot, it makes this game almost a must-win for them.
The most worrying thing for Arsenal fans is that the Gunners have won just two of their last 11 away league games, against bottom side Huddersfield, and a Watford team that was reduced to 10-men after just 11 minutes.
Humbled by both Everton and Wolves on the road in recent weeks also, Arsenal could struggle to contain Leicester, especially given that they have conceded a huge average of 1.70 xGA per game in their last 11 away games.
The Infogol model actually makes Leicester favourites to win here. We given them a 46 per cent chance – which equates to around 6/5 and Paddy’s going 8/5 at time of publishing.
But we think there’s some juice in the Both teams to score and Leicester to win price @ 3/1 – as happened in Arsenal’s defeat to Wolves in midweek – so we’ll have a bit of that.
Verdict: Leicester to win and BTTS @ 3/1
Three wins on the spin means that Villareal they are five points clear of relegation and more than likely safe after a horrendous season. With the quality they have at their disposal, it was highly unlikely they would go down, and wins against Girona, Leganes and Real Sociedad showing just how strong they are.
In contrast to Villarreal, Huesca weren’t given much of a chance of surviving this season. With four games left however, they are only six points from safety and are on a five-match unbeaten run. They could upset the books and stay up.
The minnows are very entertaining to watch and despite being in the bottom three, they are very gung-ho.
Not only do they create plenty of chances, they concede plenty also.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Huesca get a result but the play is to back both teams to score to round off the day.
Verdict: Both teams to score @ 6/10
*Prices correct at time of publication but can fluctuate